Mentor Information

Science Education Partnership

Mentor Information

Thank you for your interest in mentoring a Science Education Partnership Teacher. Science teachers impact hundreds of students every year and your support can make a real difference.

To register to mentor a SEP teacher, please click here.

Note: Mentors outside of Fred Hutch are welcome to sign up. In the past, we have had mentors from organizations such as the University of Washington (Main Campus and South Lake Union), CIDR, Childrens, and local biotech companies. Please contact us if you have specific questions.


May 11: Opening Day Introductory Meeting (3 hrs in late afternoon)
July 15-19: Summer Session – teachers join you in your lab (5 weekdays)
July 26: Poster Session – culmination of summer program (2 hrs)


  • Together with the teacher, decide on a brief hands-on lab research activity for them to conduct (see below for ideas).
  • Host a teacher for 5 days in your lab and help direct the teacher’s lab work (this should not be a job shadow).
  • Spend time discussing the teacher’s teaching situation, understanding current theories of learning and teaching, and learning about the broader science education context in the US.
  • Arrange for your teacher to attend a lab meeting (either your own lab or another lab).
  • Attend the Open House/Poster session.
  • Participate in program evaluation and provide feedback.
  • Keep in contact with your teacher during the school year, be available to serve as a resource and answer questions, and, when feasible, visit the teacher’s classroom.

Mentor Background Information

View PDF

PDF information sheet for mentors including dates for current sessions.

Lab Research Activity

Teachers will learn the basics of working with DNA in a 5-day session prior to joining you in the lab. They will have practiced pipetting and gained familiarity with bacterial transformation, restriction enzyme digests, and gel electrophoresis. SEP emphasizes hands-on learning so please give your teacher the opportunity to participate actively in experiments.

For example, they could do molecular biology procedures such as plasmid mini-preps, ELISAs, or PCR. It is important that they understand why they are doing the procedures and how those procedures relate to the big picture for your lab or the questions you are exploring.

Many of the past SEP teachers have really enjoyed their immersion in a research lab—participating in the bench science, interacting with the group members, and attending lab meetings to learn how scientists interact, discuss different experimental approaches, and make sense of their findings. 

Learning from your teacher

SEP is committed to the idea that both scientists and science educators are professionals with much to learn from one another. We hope that you will use this opportunity to learn about strategies for teaching scientific ideas as well as learning more about education in general.

The new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are based on a three-part framework that interweaves big themes (“cross cutting concepts”), specific core content or discipline-specific knowledge [“disciplinary core ideas”], and common inquiry-related practices used in science and engineering [“science and engineering practices”]. Washington is one of many collaborating states adopting NGSS in setting learning performance standards and expectations for each grade level. You may wish to familiarize yourself with these standards by visiting SEP provides a unique opportunity for teachers to learn about how science practices are enacted in authentic lab research settings, and to reflect on the implications for their own classrooms.


Extended Opportunity

Hutch Teacher Fellowship - NEW!

The Hutch Teacher Fellowship provides a two-year professional development research experience for secondary science teachers. Participants will develop cancer-focused curricular materials in collaboration with Hutch scientists and other Fellows and test and revise materials in their own classrooms. Stipend provided.

  • Eligibility requirements: The Hutch Teaching Fellows program is open to secondary science teachers in Washington State. Teachers who have participated in Fred Hutch’s SEP program or who are working with students from populations underrepresented in science are particularly encouraged to apply.

  • Program dates: Flexible, dependent on schedules of teachers and scientists. Estimate mid-June to mid-August (approximately 9 weeks), plus additional curriculum development for teachers during the school year (3 weeks).